March 3, 2017 Subject:
Interesting but uninteresting
Interesting in that the producers finally cast Asians to play Asian characters. But since the movie isn't that good, so what? Luke--whom I admire for his voice work later--and Long, and most of the other Asians in the casr, are thoroughly wooden in their delivery. The only animated Asian actor is Lee Tung Foo, who pays to Chinese stereotypes.
I want to like this one but I just don't. Worth seeing once.
December 13, 2015 Subject:
Pretty good for a Mr Wong pic I'm watching it a second time
February 27, 2012 Subject:
Keye Luke Excellent as James Lee Wong
This is the second time within a year that I have viewed "Phantom of Chinatown." Keye Luke is excellent in the role of James Lee Wong. The movie has a good plot which progresses nicely to a satisfactory conclusion. The supporting cast ably supports the lead actors.
April 24, 2010 Subject:
...I Found It Luke Warm....!
March 27, 2010 Subject:
Phantom of Chinatown Excellent
Very good film.
February 8, 2010 Subject:
Treasure and treachery
Of the forty-six movies that comprise the three great Asian detective series (Charlie Chan, Mr. Moto & Mr. Wong), this is the only film in which the lead role is actually played by an Asian actor, Chinese-American Keye Luke. It's also unusual in that the other Chinese characters are all played by Chinese actors (some of them amateurs). The mystery opens with a setup that includes footage of Roy Chapman Andrews' 1923 Mongolian expedition. Then it becomes a typical, fast-moving Monogram programmer with knives thrown in the dark, and even a car chase. Keye Luke is fine, but his love interest, Lotus Long, could have used one more acting lesson. (She does better in other Wong and Moto films.) Grant Withers again appears as the ornery police detective. Production values are adequate. Last and not the best of the "Mr. Wong" series, nevertheless it's engaging and more than entertaining enough to rate three stars. CAST NOTE: The minor role of Keye Luke's cook is played by one of my favorite character actors, Lee Tung Foo. He appeared in more than 60 productions (not including TV) and had important roles in films like "Across the Pacific" and "Mission to Moscow."
January 13, 2010 Subject:
More Wong Pees
Loved it and all the other Chinese detective movies. You can order most of them from World Cat through your local library. I've requested the Wong Collection. Can't wait.
August 31, 2009 Subject:
Important footage missing from this version
This moving begins with early film footage from Mongola that is fascinating and is the whole reason I love this movie! But the versions on this website have censored and cut out some of this historical Mongolian film footage, editing out what might not be politically correct today. It is real and interesting. Why rewrite history about a culture that was exotic and mysterious to Americans in 1940? Even the change in our sensibilities is historic and interesting. It's the best part of this movie and simply should not to be missed. The complete sequence of the Mongolian film footage can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zhOwgPPcsI
October 13, 2006 Subject:
One Really Hates to Disagree with Professor John but...
Phantom of Chinatown is a pretty good B-movie. And if you're smart enough to watch it BEFORE watching the rest of the Mr. Wong series (which starred Boris Karloff in the role Keye Luke is playing here) you'll enjoy it all the more.
One has to view this film as a PREQUEL to all the others---this shouldn't be hard for the current generation of filmgoers...we're always getting our stories in reverse order like STAR WARS you know.
Additionally both Grant Withers (as Captain Street) and Lotus Long as Win Lee (Ms. Long, incidentally, has the distinction of appearing not only in THIS film but in two of the Karloff Wong films THE MYSTERY OF MR. WONG & MR. WONG IN CHINATOWN but also played the niece to Bela Lugosi's MYSTERIOUS MR. WONG---obviously the black sheep of the Wong family) were darned good character actors and their contributions to THIS film should not be callouly dismissed.
Ms. Long passed away in 1990 in Orange County, CA at the ripe old age of 81 and Grant Withers committed suicide in 1959---he was 54.
June 17, 2006 Subject:
poor screenplay, silly plot, inadequate direction
The sound was well done - otherwise, save yourself the time of watching this amateurish, stiffly acted, so-called mystery. Keye Luke gives the only decent performance - the rest are high-school quality. Also, the numerous night-time scenes do not come across coherently at all.
April 16, 2006 Subject:
Pretty good who-dunnit thriller about the death of an archaeologist. After he returns from the Orient. The archaeologist presents a lecture about his findings, a hidden tomb. Funny thing, is that he points out certain people in the room that went with him during the expodition, so right then and there you know that the archaelogist is toast and the people he just introduced are suspects ha ha. Mr Wong, smoothly played by Keye Luke, gets to the bottom of things. I really like how he solved this, using calm logical ways instead of having obvious clues thrown at us. I also liked the clueless homicide detective who sort of played a foil to WongÃÂs character who essentially just followed Wong while he went on his crime-solving ways. Nifty little movie here.
March 16, 2006 Subject:
Not bad for 1940
I found it a little dry in the beginning but the plot, picture and sound quality were pretty good. An amusing little picture with a few good wise cracks and a suprise ( to me ) ending. Worth a look.
January 6, 2006 Subject:
This one is really good.
I really liked this one quite a bit. Very entertaining.